Like many foreign directors before him, Alexandre Aja followed the traditional path for hot filmmakers abroad who find themselves wooed by the bright lights and big money of Hollywood. He made a big, bloody splash on the genre scene with 2003’s High Tension and then pretty much tanked. He waited three years before making his American debut…with a capable but uninteresting remake of The Hills Have Eyes. Followed by Mirrors. Followed by Piranha. All three contain pockets of entertainment, but none of them had the intensity or interesting narrative of his French psycho thriller.
But just because his American efforts have failed to live up to his initial hype so far doesn’t mean that he’s packing it in and heading home a la John Woo.
Per Variety (and @joe_hill’s Twitter feed), Aja will begin filming an adaptation of Hill’s novel “Horns” this fall. Shia LaBeouf was originally attached to star, but thankfully for those of us who prefer actual actors in our movies Daniel Radcliffe has signed on instead.
“Radcliffe will portray the number one suspect for the rape and murder of his girlfriend. He awakens one morning to find horns starting to grow from his own head and soon realizes their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their impulses – an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend’s tragedy.”
This won’t be Radcliffe’s first time playing horny as evidenced by his hilarious guest turn on HBO’s Extras, but it will be his darkest role yet. The young actor continues to shake off the Harry Potter stigma through roles like this, his wand-showing turn on stage in Equus, and the recent The Woman In Black which he helped turn into a $100 million hit.
Horns spent several weeks on the NYT’s bestseller list, an impressive feat for only being Hill’s second novel. I haven’t read it yet, but his short fiction is pretty fantastic so it’s high on my list. Both of Hill’s parents are writers, one of them a member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, and his third novel (NOS4A2) is due next year.